A lawsuit filed this week on behalf of Spanish citizens who have lost loved ones to the novel coronavirus accuses the country’s government of “homicide due to grave negligence.”
The Zaballos Foundation for the Defense of Constitutional Rights presented the complaint to the Spanish Supreme Court on behalf of 116 families, The Washington Post reported. Foundation President Emilia Zaballos said more than 3,268 families have asked to join and are in the process of securing documents.
The lawsuit accuses Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and the 22 members of his Cabinet of delaying preventative measures for too long, holding them responsible for “the negligence in their acts and omissions about stopping, reducing and curbing the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic’s effects throughout the nation.”
“Our dead need an explanation and deserve an exhaustive investigation,” Zaballos said, accusing the government of waiting for more than a month after it knew of the first confirmed cases in Spain before taking action. “We want the court to admit the suit and proceed with questioning and testimony so everyone can learn what really happened.”
Ignacio González Vega, a judge and spokesman for Judges for Democracy, told the Post he believes the court is unlikely to hear the case.
“We are in an exceptional situation,” the judge said. “It is difficult to be able to attribute these deaths to the government’s management, more so since there are numerous deaths produced by the virus in all countries. In these conditions, it is difficult to talk about lack of diligence.”
Spain has been one of the European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, it had confirmed more than 228,000 cases of the virus and more than 26,000 deaths.